For years, the cracks grew. And in mid-February 2021, a brand new huge Antarctic iceberg was born.
The British Antarctic Survey released footage final week of the grand crack left by 490 square-mile iceberg A74 (it’s larger than Los Angeles), which snapped off Antarctica’s Brunt Ice shelf. (An ice shelf is the top, or tongue, of an enormous ice sheet that floats over the ocean.) Antarctic researchers knew the ice shelf would inevitably shed a giant berg, however the query was when.
“Predicting ice cracks on an ice shelf is sort of like predicting when an earthquake goes to happen,” Anna Hogg, a polar researcher specializing in satellite tv for pc observations on the Institute for Atmospheric and Local weather Science on the College of Leeds, told Mashable in 2019.
In some elements of Antarctica, hotter ocean waters at the moment are consuming away on the backside of ice sheets, leading to a severe acceleration of ice loss, which adds significantly to sea level rise. (To study extra, examine Antarctica’s destabilized Thwaites glacier.)
For the Brunt Ice Shelf particularly, Antarctic scientists say it is nonetheless unknown if Brunt will expertise an identical improve in ice loss because the planet relentlessly warms. However they’re vigilantly watching with satellites, planes, and drones.